D&D 5E Who wrote these CRs?

Tangent, but monsters going obsolete is contrary to the design goals of 5E. In fact, that's one of the reasons they invented Bounded Accuracy in the first place, so you can use CR 1 monsters with 20th level PCs and CR 20 monsters with level 3 PCs.

http://archive.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20120604

Its less of a problem in 5th edition though, than it was in previous editions. Since you can simply increase the numbers of lower CR monsters.
 

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so I didn't bother to downgrade the monster to CR 15, especially because I didn't know at first what level your PCs were at.
...
A Young Red Dragon with Dragon Sorcerer 5 (CR 12ish) will mess them up in almost identical fashion. That's well within your original "5 fifth level PCs vs. 1 CR 15" parameters.

Just to be clear - that wasnt my statement you're responding to, there.

But what you did do in your initial post about how the dragon would fight is what I did suggest - ignore CRs and instead figure out how the fight will play out and use that to balance, which you did a great job of.

Other things of note -
1) I bet i can find/create a cr19 creature that is not nearly as challenging ;-)
2) I think its revealng and acnowledged by your last statement about the young dragon - that the monster's CR almost doesn't matter - it's the PC-space abilities and usage that matter.
 

Its less of a problem in 5th edition though, than it was in previous editions. Since you can simply increase the numbers of lower CR monsters.

I'll take your word for that since the previous edition I played (AD&D) didn't have a problem with CR, because it didn't have Challenge Rating at all. It just had monsters and rough tiers running from I to X, and rarity levels, but nothing that tried to claim to predict what an "appropriate challenge" was.

And yes, monster obsolence is not a problem in 5E. Hobgoblins and drow are great fun against any level of PCs.
 

Just to be clear - that wasnt my statement you're responding to, there.

But what you did do in your initial post about how the dragon would fight is what I did suggest - ignore CRs and instead figure out how the fight will play out and use that to balance, which you did a great job of.

Other things of note -
1) I bet i can find/create a cr19 creature that is not nearly as challenging ;-)
2) I think its revealng and acnowledged by your last statement about the young dragon - that the monster's CR almost doesn't matter - it's the PC-space abilities and usage that matter.

Absolutely, I agree with both your statements. I was responding to a claim that you can't use BBEGs in 5E against groups of 5+ PCs, because of disparities in action economy.
 


MostlyDm

Explorer
I assume you're referring to the monster special abilities table and not to the AC/HP/Damage "Quick Create" table, right? The Quick Create table isn't egregiously bad, in the sense that if you created monsters using that table and gave them all ranged attacks, your players would probably find the resulting encounters more challenging than fights with MM meatsacks (as opposed to the MM non-meatsacks like Intellect Devourers and drow). However, the rest of the system including the special abilities table is totally insane. Teleport has zero effect on CR? Avoidance is like +1 to AC? I guarantee you that if I run four 7th level PCs through two "Medium" encounters, one with 14 bog-standard orcs and one with 14 teleporting orcs with only AC 12 but with Avoidance, they will notice that the second encounter is noticeably harder. In fact, technically I can give the magic orcs 25 HP and a Legendary Resistance without moving them out of their CR 1/2 bracket (which brings us back to the Quick Create table, which is quite bad in some places but not egregiously bad overall).

The CR construction rules are whacked, best used for calculating kill XP and nothing much else. Don't expect CR to equate to deadliness in the general case.

Yeah, I find it's best to use that table the same way the designers did: make a monster first, with HP, damage, abilities, etc. Then plug it into the table and see what CR is spit out.

Don't design from the table; design it yourself, and use the table to check your work.
 

MostlyDm

Explorer
Expounding a little more: the reason teleport doesn't effect CR is the same reason monster speed doesn't effect CR. Yeah, technically you can give a monster 500ft. Speed at no CR change. Which would make the monster almost invincible to many parties. But... What's the alternative? How much should speed be worth? How much should immunity to poison and disease be worth? (DMG says those are free too.)

If all of those cost something, you can end up with wildly underwhelming monsters that can teleport and are immune to status effects but also have 5 HP and deal 1d4 damage and are CR 10.

Resistance and some other defensive effects can already be seen to inflate CR higher than *feels* right sometimes... See the Vampire for a good example. It's just not that scary to a 13th level party.

Instead of making those abilities cost more, the idea is that you should probably temper such abilities a bit, and add them as makes sense. They give broad advice, like flying is hard for low level parties to deal with, rather than making flying add +1 CR.
 

MostlyDm

Explorer
Just for the triple post: I also alternate between 2 DM styles that work fine with CR as it exists: either I tailor everything so much that wouldn't dream of trying to drop in monsters without carefully vetting how they will interface with the party... Or I create a sandbox where I don't give a crap what CR a monster is or how the party can handle it, because what's there is there.

Both playstyles seem fine with CR and the MM/DMG as they exist. I imagine the problem is arising for people somewhere in the middle.
 

I'll take your word for that since the previous edition I played (AD&D) didn't have a problem with CR, because it didn't have Challenge Rating at all. It just had monsters and rough tiers running from I to X, and rarity levels, but nothing that tried to claim to predict what an "appropriate challenge" was.

I've played 2nd edition as well, and that was one of the things that often made the game ruthless. That was back in the day when the game was allowed to be blatantly unfair and deadly... which had its charm, but not everyone can appreciate that obviously.

It's kind of like playing Dark Souls. You know the DM is a cruel heartless bastard, and it makes you very cautious. No carefully balanced monsters here, just pain and cruelty. Piercers dropping down from the ceiling right on top of your skull, that sort of thing.
 

Eric V

Hero
CR means:

"Your party can handle these monsters at that level and probably won't get obliterated"


That's all it means if you ask me.

I think you're probably right. As such, CR works just fine for what it is. The problem is that, "for what it is" is so tiny in terms of advice, it's really no more helpful for me as a DM than the Doctor yelling "Pay attention!" at Amy Pond is for her. :p
 

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